Saturday, May 23
Latest News
  1. UN: Iranian aid cargo boat for Yemen offloaded in Djibouti
  2. Commanders: Iraq forces attack IS east of Ramadi
  3. Leading 'No' figure concedes in Irish gay marriage vote
  4. Saudi-led coalition pounds Yemen rebels in three cities
  5. Police: 3 killed by two grenades in Burundi capital
  6. Official: 39 dead in Mexico clash between police, armed civilians
  7. US Senate approves fast-track trade authority for Obama
  8. Senate blocks bill that would end US bulk data dragnet
  9. Official: Turkey arrests French citizen bound for Syria
  10. Priest 'kidnapped in Homs' region of Syria
  11. Saudi-led coalition pounds Yemen rebels in three cities
  12. Over 55,000 have fled IS-captured Ramadi since mid-May
  13. President: death toll in anti-FARC air strike in Colombia rises to 26
  14. Dutch cabinet backs partial Islamic burqa ban
  15. Iran: Nuclear talks to resume Tuesday in Vienna
  16. UK's Cameron says 'confident' of securing EU reform deal
  17. Huge blasts outside Sanaa after coalition air raids
  18. Monitor: Rebels seize hospital holding 150 Syrian soldiers
  19. Blast hits Shiite mosque in eastern Saudi
  20. US envoy urges Myanmar Rohingya 'citizenship' to end exodus

Abbas warns of ICC action if Israel implements settlement plans

Dec. 11, 2012 6:51 P.M. (Updated: Dec. 13, 2012 12:40 P.M.)
RAMALLAH (Ma'an) – President Mahmoud Abbas warned Tuesday that Palestine would file a petition to the International Criminal Court if Israel follows through on announced plans to build settlements in the flashpoint E1 area of the occupied West Bank.

Speaking at a news conference in Ankara, Abbas said, "Israel’s announcement to build settlements on the land of the State of Palestine is an aggressive act and a red line which we will not allow.

"It is a breach of international conventions, namely the Fourth Geneva Convention."

According to the official Palestinian Authority news agency Wafa, Abbas said the Israeli government should decide whether it wants to continue with settlement construction and occupation, or to achieve peace which will secure safety and stability in the region.

“From Turkey we extend a hand for peace and we are ready for serious efforts to achieve this peace," Abbas said, according to Wafa.

“If Israel chooses peace, they will find us completely ready, but if they choose settlement, especially in area E1, we will react differently," Abbas said.

'Palestinians only interested in preconditions'

Israel, meanwhile, said the Palestinians were only interested in formulating preconditions to talks.

"It seems that the Palestinian side is interested in the further development of preconditions. We reject this and are interested to negotiate without preconditions," said Ofir Gendelman, spokesman for Israeli Prime Minister Benjamin Netanyahu.

Earlier Tuesday, Nimr Hammad, Abbas' political adviser, reiterated the position that credile negotiations could not resume without a freeze in settlement building.

Gendelman told Ma'an that settlement building was not an obstacle to talks and that international pressure should focus on urging Palestine, not Israel, to return to negotiations.

He also said European condemnation of the plans only emboldened the Palestinians to continue refusing to negotiate, after the EU said it was "deeply dismayed" by the plans.

"Israel does not need international pressure to return to negotiations," Gendelman said. "We must put pressure on the Palestinian side," he said.

Abbas: Turkey backs full statehood at UN

In his remarks in Ankara, Abbas said he was confident that Turkey would support Palestine seeking recognition as full member state in the UN.

"We will continue to consult all our friends in a positive and responsible manner about the future steps," Abbas was quoted as saying by Wafa.

"Our top priority now is to realize our people’s right to freedom and independence ending 65 years of suffering,” he said.

Powered By: HTD Technologies
Ma'an News Agency
All rights reserved © 2005-2015